Dr. Tohru Minamino – Advent of Anti-ageing Vaccine

Dr. Tohru Minamino, for the first time, conducted research in the laboratory of Harvard Medical School on blood vessels. This research took 20 years! He developed an anti-ageing vaccine that works against senescent cells.

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Dr. Tohru Minamimo
Dr. Tohru Minamimo

Dr. Tohru Minamino is well-known for his breakthrough in vascular biology and ageing. A review article led to the comprehensive study of telomeres, telomerase and vascular ageing. Previously, telomeres were studied on cancer cells only. It was Dr. Tohru who for the first time at the laboratory of Harvard Medical School conducted the research on blood vessels, which took 20 years! 

During my residency, I had the opportunity to treat a patient with Familial Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. It was a rare case. I was curious to know the cause. It was then I discovered interest in medical science to find out the cause of conditions. Then I started my PhD where I focused on vascular biology. After my PhD, I noted the increase in cardiovascular patients. I wanted to find out the molecular mechanism causing cardiovascular ageing. It was then I was able to study telomeres in the cardiovascular field.

Dr. Tohru Minamino

Cardiologist & Vascular Ageing 

Dr. Tohru Minamino is a cardiologist, currently the Professor and Chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine. He is also the Director of Cardiovascular Medicine at Juntendo University Hospital. He received his MD from the Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine in 1989 and his PhD from the Faculty of Medicine, the University of Tokyo in 1997. Furthermore, he is also a research scientist and focuses on molecular mechanisms of ageing. His research interests have currently been growing in the biology of ageing including metabolic pathways of longevity and senolysis. He has published more than 100 papers in journals including Nature, Nature Medicine, Cell, Cell Metabolism, and Lancet. Dr. Minamino has won several awards including the Satoh Memorial Award in the Japanese Circulation Society, and the Erwin von Bälz Award. 

Dr. Tohru Minamino

The Beginning 

After thorough research and immense hard work, Dr. Tohru Minamino was able to formulate an anti-ageing vaccine. However, many people are unaware that Dr. Tohru wanted to become a family physician but, during his career, he developed an interest in medical science.

My parents are not medical doctors but my grandpa was a medical doctor and so are my cousin and uncle. Initially, I wanted to become a family physician but, during my career, I noticed that medical science is also very interesting. Then I started another career of becoming a physician-scientist.

Dr. Tohru Minamino

Win-win contribution!

Dr. Tohru Minamino

Dr. Tohru does not regret his choice of becoming a doctor. He puts in all his efforts toward his field, knowing that he will surely get something in return for it, other than his salary. He works for the satisfaction and appreciation he receives from his patients. 

Being a doctor is a great choice. You can contribute to others’ happiness and you can receive appreciation from many patients. Unlike other professions, we contribute to the society and also receive a salary, it is a win-win! I am proud of being a doctor and this is what keeps me passionate.

Dr. Tohru Minamino

Appreciation & Improvement of Healthcare

A doctor’s life is very intriguing because it is filled with moments of fulfilment. Each day is the beginning of a new chapter for them that leads to new discoveries and innovations. Be it day-to-day patient care or becoming the reason behind the improvement in healthcare. Doctors always have something to look forward to.

As a doctor, I feel fulfilled when my patients appreciate me. When I cure a patient’s disease and when I see them overcoming their condition, I feel grateful. I also find the same feeling at the moment when I discover the science that will lead to improvement in medical treatment in the future.

Dr. Tohru Minamino

Off-time is Family-time

Dr. Tohru Minamino finds utmost pleasure in spending time with his family. Even though they go home exhausted, seeing their family at the end of the day is very calming, enabling them to plan their next day with ease. 

I love spending time with my family. I discuss difficult issues and situations with my family. In return, my wife and children give me intellectual advice which I really appreciate. Talking to them makes me feel better. For me, this is the best way to solve any problem.

Dr. Tohru Minamino
Dr. Tohru Minamino
Dr. Tohru Minamino

Challenge of Cardiovascular Diseases

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is the most common cause of hospitalisation in people over the age of 65. Although the prognosis of CHF is unclear, this typical cardiovascular condition causes several complications that ultimately lead to the death of a patient. Unfortunately, heart failure has no cure. According to Dr. Tohru Minamino, as a cardiologist, this is the biggest challenge he faces in his career.

The patient population with heart failure is increasing dramatically. Several novel drugs have been developed for heart failure. Still, affected individuals face difficulty due to complications of heart failure. The most challenging issue is to completely cure heart failure.

Dr. Tohru Minamino

Anti-ageing Vaccine against Zombie Cells

In Japan, Dr. Tohru Minamino’s team successfully developed an anti-ageing vaccine. This vaccine tends to work against senescent cells. Cellular senescence refers to the cessation of cell division, therefore, causing ageing. With ageing, senescent cells or zombie cells accumulate refusing to die even when they no longer divide. These cells secrete harmful chemicals that trigger the onset of diabetes, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Tohru’s research was widely acknowledged and appreciated. It was published in the Nature Ageing Journal

The vaccine can delay the ageing phenotype. A problem is what would be our target disease. In our basic experimental model, we can improve atherosclerosis and diabetes. However, in case of human diseases, we lack the idea of targeting a specific disease with this vaccine. We can use this vaccine for age-related diseases that do not have treatment such as lung disease, Alzheimer’s, and chronic kidney disease.

Dr. Tohru Minamino
Dr. Tohru Minamino
Dr. Tohru Minamino

Author of 100+ Research Articles 

When my first paper was published, I was excited. In the case of my research on the recent vaccine we developed, I was really excited about the publication. This research paper took me six years! The best paper is the one cited by many people as many as a hundred to ten thousand times. My most cited paper is Endothelial cell senescence in human atherosclerosis: Role of Telomere in Endothelial Dysfunction with 1000+ citations. The number of times people cite a research paper decides the impact of the research on science instead of the name of the journal.

Dr. Tohru Minamino

Dr. Tohru Minamino is the mind behind the anti-ageing vaccine that revolutionises vascular ageing. Beginning research in an unpopular area of interest indicates his devotion to the process, progress and outcome. The advent of the anti-ageing vaccine gives Dr. Tohru a permanent status in medical science. 

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